Articles Posted in Government Contracts

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Plaintiffs, the family members and a former coworker of three Americans who were kidnapped and killed while providing contract security services during the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, brought suit against U.S. government officials challenging policies governing the supervision of private contractors and the response to the kidnappings of American citizens in Iraq (“policy claims”) and claiming that the government was withholding back pay, insurance proceeds, and government benefits owed to the families of the deceased contractors (“monetary claims”). The district court dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims. The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding that the district court (1) correctly dismissed the policy claims for lack of standing and for presenting nonjusticiable political questions; but (2) erred in dismissing the monetary claims for failure to establish a waiver of the government’s sovereign immunity from suits for damages and for failure to state a claim, as, although Plaintiffs failed to allege a governmental waiver of sovereign immunity that would confer jurisdiction in the district court over the monetary claims, the United States Court of Federal Claims had jurisdiction over the claims for withheld back pay and insurance proceeds. Remanded for the district court to transfer those claims. View "Munns v. Kerry" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit on behalf of himself and a putative class, alleging claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 42 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A)(iii), that Campbell-Ewald instructed or allowed a third-party vendor to send unsolicited text messages on behalf of the Navy, with whom Campbell-Ewald had a marketing contract. The district court granted summary judgment to Campbell-Ewald under the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity. The court rejected Campbell-Ewald's claim that the personal and putative class claims were mooted by petitioner's refusal to accept the settlement offer; Campbell-Ewald's constitutional claims were unavailing where the company relied upon a flawed application of First Amendment principles; the TCPA imposes vicarious liability where an agency relationship, as defined by federal common law, is established between the defendant and a third-party caller; and the application of the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity is inapplicable in this case. Because Campbell-Ewald failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the court vacated and remanded for further proceedings.View "Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Planned Parenthood under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that Planned Parenthood knowingly and falsely overbilled state and federal governments for contraceptives supplied to low-income individuals. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint on the alternative ground that the complaint did not state plausible claims for relief. Even assuming that the third amended complaint sufficiently alleged falsity, it did not satisfy Rule 8(a), which requires a plausible claim that Planned Parenthood knowingly made false claims, with the statutory scienter. Because plaintiff's own complaint attachments defeated the plausibility of his allegations, and because he had already amended his complaint several times, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying him further leave to amend. The district court also correctly concluded that plaintiff's claims under state law were time-barred. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Gonzalez v. Planned Parenthood" on Justia Law

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The Canal Authority appealed the district court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Interior, Bureau, San Luis, and Wetlands, in a suit to establish priority water rights under Central Valley Project (CVP) water service contracts. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants, holding that all claims arising before February 11, 2004 were time-barred and that Canal Authority was not entitled to priority water allocation under the CVP contracts. The court affirmed the district court's decision on the alternative basis that California Water Code 11460 did not require the Bureau to provide CVP contractors priority water rights, because contracts between the Canal Authority and Bureau contained provisions that specifically address allocation of water during shortage periods. View "Tehama-Colusa Canal Auth. v. U.S. Dept. of Interior" on Justia Law

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ACT brought this suit against PCI and First National, alleging claims of breach of contract, quantum meruit, and recovery on a payment bond under the Miller Act, 40 U.S.C. 3131(b). Because United States ex rel. Celanese Coatings Co. v. Gullard was clearly irreconcilable with intervening higher authority, the court overruled it and held that the Miller Act's statute of limitations was a claim-processing rule, not a jurisdictional rule. Because nothing on the face of ACT's complaint indicated that it did not work on the project or rent equipment to PCI within one year of the date it filed the complaint, the complaint could not have been dismissed if the district court had treated the Miller Act's statute of limitations as a claim-processing rule. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded. View "Air Control Tech. v. Pre Con Indus." on Justia Law

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These are two appeals stemming from the government's immediate termination of a Medicare Part D services contract with a prescription drug insurance coverage provider, Fox. Fox subsequently filed actions in the district court challenging both the termination and an order for immediate repayment. The court affirmed the district court's holding that the contract was properly terminated; affirmed the district court's ruling that governing regulations authorized the government's demand for immediate repayment of a prorated share of the funds that had been paid to Fox at the beginning of the month and that Fox would not utilize after the contract's termination; and the government's actions were more than justified, as Fox had risked permanent damage to its enrollees by, inter alia, improperly denying coverage of critical HIV, cancer, and seizure medications, and having no compliance structure in place. View "Fox Ins. Co. v. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid" on Justia Law

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Defendants' convictions arose out of a series of events that took place while Defendant Robles was Treasurer of the City of South Gate, California. Robles, along with Defendant Garrido, a local businessman and friend, were implicated in two schemes to award city contracts to particular companies while reaping substantial benefits for themselves. On appeal, defendants challenged their convictions. In light of the the Supreme Court's decision in Skilling v. United States, which narrowed the scope of 18 U.S.C. 1346 to include only honest services fraud based on bribery and kickback schemes, the court reversed Robles's and Garrido's honest services fraud convictions and reversed Robles's money laundering convictions. The court affirmed Robles's bribery convictions under 18 U.S.C. 666 because such convictions did not required the defendant to be engaged in an official act. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "United States v. Garrido" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff brought suit under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA) against Lockheed Martin Corporation, alleging that Lockheed defrauded the United States Air Force under a contract for the Range Standardization and Automation IIA program concerning software and hardware used to support space launch operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Cape Kennedy. Hooper filed his suit in the Maryland district court, which transferred the suit to the central district of California on forum non conveniens grounds. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Lockheed on all grounds. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1) affirmed the district court's evidentiary rulings and conclusion that Hooper failed to establish his claims of fraudulent use of the software and defective testing procedures because there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Lockheed "knowingly" submitted a false claim; and (2) reversed the district court's dismissal of (i) Hooper's wrongful discharge claim as barred by California's two-year statute of limitations, holding that Maryland's three-year statute of limitations applied here, and (ii) Hooper's claim that Lockheed violated the FCA by knowingly underbidding the contract. View "Hooper v. Lockheed Martin Corp." on Justia Law

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In this appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether the renewal of forty-one water supply contracts by the United States Bureau of Reclamation violated section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and illegally threatened the existence of the delta smelt. The contracts at issue fell into two groups: (1) users who obtained water from the Delta-Mendota Canal (DMC contracts), and (2) parties who claimed to hold water rights senior to those held by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation with regard to a Central Valley Project and who previously entered into settlement contracts with the Bureau (settlement contractors). The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, finding that Plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the DMC contracts and that Plaintiffs' claims against the settlement contractors failed because the contracts were not discretionary and were thus exempted from section 7(a)(2) compliance. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment for Defendants, finding that Plaintiffs lacked standing with regard to the contracts and that section 7(a)(2) of the ESA did not apply to the settlement contracts. View "Natural Res. Defense Council v. Salazar" on Justia Law

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Four mobile home park owners appealed the dismissal of their suit under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. 3604, 3617, challenging a city zoning ordinance prohibiting any mobilehome park currently operating as senior housing from converting to all-age housing. The court held that because the FHAA was silent on whether such senior housing zones were permissible and because federal regulations allow for them, the judgment of the district court was affirmed.